HAMILTON, ON, Feb. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - A substantial majority (65%) of
Hamilton area residents would like CBC to establish a local radio
station to cover community affairs, and support the Conservative's
pre-election pledge to maintain or increase CBC funding. These
findings emerge from a new opinion survey of Hamilton residents
commissioned by the broadcast watchdog group Friends of Canadian
"Close to a million people live in the area, yet Hamilton residents are
underserved by CBC even though other much smaller communities in Canada
enjoy much greater coverage of their community affairs," said Friends'
spokesperson Ian Morrison.
On November 1, 2011, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced
plans to introduce a new digital service in Hamilton in the spring this
year. While the CBC has been coy about exact details, the digital
service would likely fall short of a full local radio station, and the
threat of budget cuts have cast doubt on CBC's capacity to deliver on
"The federal government's plan to make a substantial cut of 10% or more
to the CBC's budget will have devastating consequences for listeners and viewers and could well scuttle new services the CBC
has promised to Hamiltonians and residents of several other
communities, an outcome that will clearly be off-side with the
priorities of residents of this area," said Morrison.
The survey found that half of Hamiltonians agree that "just as small
provinces have their own CBC stations, regions like mine should have
their own station, even if it requires giving the CBC a bit more
If local MPs asked their constituents what to do about CBC funding, they
would hear an echo of the Conservative Party's pre-election promise to
maintain or increase CBC funding.
Four-in-ten (39%) Hamiltonians would counsel their MP to maintain CBC
funding at current levels while 30% (vs. 23% in the rest of Canada)
would advise their MP to increase CBC funding from current levels.
Only one-in-four (23%) would advise their MP to vote to cut the CBC's
"All MPs in the area know their constituents want them to support the
CBC and this survey shows that that vast majority (69%) of area
residents would like to see the CBC's budget increased or maintained,"
Even though the Conservative Party promised to maintain or increase CBC
funding during the recent election campaign, Heritage Minister James
Moore is now talking about substantial cuts to the national public
broadcaster in the upcoming federal budget.
"The Conservatives promised time and again before, during and after the
election campaign to maintain or increase CBC funding. Breaking this
promise will go against the grain for most people in the Hamilton
region and elsewhere in Canada," Morrison said.
"We believe in the national public broadcaster. We have said that we
will maintain or increase support for the CBC. That is our platform and
we have said that before and we will commit to that."
Heritage Minister James Moore,
May 3, 2011
The survey also found that more than half (53%) of the region's
residents agree with a recent House of Commons Heritage Committee
recommendation that annual CBC funding should be increased from $33 per
Canadian to $40, while 17% think this recommendation should be rejected
because it is too little.
Currently, Hamiltonians are less satisfied with the CBC's coverage of
local affairs than Canadians living elsewhere. Sixty-six percent (vs.
74% in the rest of Canada) of residents agree that the CBC provides
good coverage of local news and cultural events even without a local
Prime Minister Harper and his Conservative government carry a reputation
for being hostile to Canadian culture and the CBC. According to the
survey, 66% of Hamiltonians think Canada's level of public broadcaster
funding is indicative of the federal government's treatment of the
cultural sector overall.
More than half of area residents (55%) think the Prime Minister would
like to privatize the CBC, a policy Hamiltonians reject in about the
same number as people living elsewhere in Canada, but with greater
intensity; 37% of Hamiltonians vs. 26% of other Canadians disagree
strongly that privatizing and commercializing the CBC is the right
thing to do. More than half (52%) of Hamiltonians reject this policy
while only one-in-four agree.
As for which political party is most trusted by Hamiltonians to protect
the CBC, the Conservative Party scores lowest at 24% followed by the
Liberal Party at 33% with the NDP being most trusted to protect the CBC
The CBC gets high marks from Canadians and Hamiltonians for meeting its
mandate to present programs that inform, enlighten and entertain as
well as its mandate to serve the broadcasting needs of Canada's
The online survey of 2022 adult Canadians conducted from November 4 to
10 has a margin of error of +/- 2.18%, 19 times out of 20. Hamilton
data are based on a sample of 404 adults living in the area and have a
margin of error of +/- 4.87%, 19 times out of 20.
The survey was designed and administered by political scientists Peter
Loewen, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Daniel
Rubenson, Associate Professor at Ryerson University. Fieldwork for the
poll was done by Vision Critical on the Angus Reid Forum National
SOURCE Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
For further information:
Jim Thompson 613-447-9592